Thursday, January 21, 2010

Just What the Doctor Ordered: Easy, From-Scratch Chicken Noodle Soup

My poor husband has been working long hours at work and battling a cold for the last several days. No fun. Yesterday, I had a headache, along with a good amount of stress and fatigue (I'll share no details except for the fact that potty training is frustrating. Grrrrr.). Plus, the weather is wet and cold. In fact, the third Monday of January (aka "Blue Monday") is officially the most depressing day of the year; no wonder we've all been feeling kind of...well, blah around our house lately. So, for dinner last night, I made a comfort food staple: chicken noodle soup.

Not only is this recipe delicious in its simplicity, but it's also ridiculously easy and dirt cheap to make. It's especially inexpensive if you made your own chicken/turkey stock like I suggested around Thanksgiving. Plus, there are various studies about the health benefits of this soup. Just eating it for dinner last night made me feel less stressed and my headache went away. I have to say, though, that the canned chicken noodle soup just doesn't cut it for me. I'm sorry - chicken noodle soup should be homemade. But seriously, you can make a delicious, from-scratch pot of this soup almost as fast. Bonus: any leftovers can be frozen and used for anytime you're feeling under the weather.

I used about twelve cups of stock for my soup. I freeze my stock in zipper bags (2 cups of stock in each), so when I'm ready to use them, I hold them under running water for a little bit and then heat the icy stock blocks in the pot until it comes to a nice, easy boil. Meanwhile, I've also got some of my shredded meat thawing (though, you could always skip the meat and use a nice, vegetable stock like I used to in my vegetarian days. Also very good, in my opinion).

While the stock is heating, chop up your vegetables. I just used the basics: carrot, celery, and onion. Add to the boiling stock.

Add the chicken/turkey - it was still fairly frozen when I put it in. Also, add your noodles. I usually use wide egg noodles, but since I didn't have any, I just improvised with spaghetti, broken in half. I cooked the meat, noodles, and vegetables in the broth for about 11 minutes.

Ahhhhh.... Comfort in a bowl.

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